The Upper Lusatian heath and pond landscape region, located in Eastern Saxony, is one of Germany’s largest commercially operated lake and aquaculture areas. Fishing started here in the middle of the 13th century. The designation of the 13th UNESCO biosphere reserve in Germany in 1996 within the area provided this centuries-old cultural landscape with a worthy system of support, ensuring its preservation, care and future development.
Today the area covers more than 25km2 of water consisting of more than 300 ponds and pond groups including the river Spree and the Stausee Bautzen reservoir. Carp farming is a traditional line of business here. The annual “Lausitzer Fischwochen” event and the “Oberlausitzer Biokarpfen” project were developed to market the fish and the area. The “Haus der Tausend Teiche” biosphere information centre is designed to inform the public about the tradition of pond fishing and nature conservation within the biosphere.
Approximately 10 full-time aquaculture farms and about five smaller farms (which provide part time employment) operate in the region. They face many challenges in securing and developing sustainable business.
The major challenges of the area include the improvement of the image of the fisheries, increasing the added value of fisheries for the area, expanding cooperation between the fisheries businesses on a regional scale, as well as supporting educational offers and developing knowledge exchanges.
The area includes the Upper Lusatian Heath UNESCO biosphere reserve and pond landscape, 10 nature conservation areas, eight bird protection areas, seven landscape protection and 14 Fauna-Flora-Habitat areas.
The main objective is to promote the sustainable development and improvement of the quality of life in the Upper Lusatian heath and pond landscape region.
More specifically, the FLAG aims to promote economic development in the area and increase added value for fishing companies. It also prioritises supporting improvements to the marketing of local pond fish, broadening the culinary offer available in restaurants and hotels in the area and diversifying activities of commercial aquaculture farms, including the development of fishing tourism.
Regional (federal state of Saxony)
Throughout the funding period, potential beneficiaries can contact the FLAG management at any time.
Project selection meetings of the decision-making body of the FLAG are scheduled several times a year.
The FLAG has experience in the following areas:
The FLAG is interested in cooperating and sharing experiences with other FLAGs on the following themes: pond farming, marketing, fish events, educational projects, sustainable tourism and diversification.
The FLAG partnership includes pond farmers, non-profit organisations, the local bank, the Saxony state fisheries association, the local fishing association, the Upper Lusatian heath and pond landscape biosphere reserve, Saxony State Office for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology and the tourism associations.